Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

ClimateWatch: How June is shaping up + Winter’s expected rainfall in NZ (+11 Maps)

Hard to believe we’re entering the halfway mark of 2021 already but here we are in June and the start of winter on the meteorological calendar (Winter also starts June 21 on the astronomical calendar).

La Nina ended back in Autumn and the weather pattern around New Zealand and Australia remains a ‘neutral’ one – which increases the chances of a chaotic pattern with pockets of extremes (as we just saw with the flooding in Canterbury but fairly dry further north).

As we go through June it’s clear the chaotic pattern continues with far more low pressure in the mix – although the few highs that are still around will still impact NZ bringing settled periods, especially northern and eastern areas. This is good news for Canterbury – but not good news for Hawke’s Bay still dealing with drought like conditions.


The big low that brought the flooding to Canterbury drifts east over the Chatham Islands allowing for a high near Sydney to drift towards northern NZ.
High pressure east of NZ may help encourage some rain into the upper North Island, otherwise low pressure is the next main feature, mostly down in the Southern Ocean but likely brushing the South Island of NZ and Tasmania.
Low pressure dominates the map but high pressure dominates most of Australia and a large zone just east of NZ. This keeps NZ in a low pressure zone which encourages downpours and rain. However the nor’west flow may keep regions like Hawke’s Bay still missing out on the rain they need most.


Week 1 of June – Departure from Normal rainfall.
Red = Drier than average, White = Normal rainfall, Blue = Wetter than usual
Week 1 of June – Rainfall Accumulations.
White boxes highlight areas with low rainfall (ie, less than 10mm)
First 2 Weeks of June Rainfall Accumulation Map
You can see how heavy rain leans to the west and north of NZ – but eastern areas still look fairly dry overall.
How Winter is shaping rainfall-wise. This may be good news for many North Island regions still in a rainfall deficit – but not great news for Hawke’s Bay which may well continue to lean drier than average for the next three months ahead.


How Winter is shaping up temperature-wise. Generally speaking, about normal but leaning perhaps half a degree above average overall. We do expect some decent frosts in the mix – but also balanced by warmer nights and days too.
Soil Temperatures as of today, June 1 at 30cm depth. Shows many places still fairly mild but the West Coast and Central Otago getting more into the single digits.

LA NINA? EL NINO? No – it’s just neutral for now…

We don’t have La Nina, we don’t have El Nino – were smack back in the neutral zone.
Neutral conditions in NZ/Australia until at least spring, according to scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology.

To drill down much more on a local level – please visit – it’s NZ’s largest weather data website for your local area.


Nick on 1/06/2021 6:30pm

As June 21st is the shortest day, why is June considered the first month of winter rather than a more symmetrical; May, June July?

WW Forecast Team on 1/06/2021 7:44pm

Hi Nick, this story from 2017 covers what you’re asking about (although it’s focused on the end of winter – but it’s the same topic). Hope it’s helpful:

Jan Lawrence on 1/06/2021 8:22am

Very hard to make out NZ beneath all those isomers etc. Is there some way to make the outline bolder? A different colour maybe?

WW Forecast Team on 1/06/2021 7:46pm

Hi Jan, we don’t have much control over those maps, but if you can generally see where NZ is that’s all that matters for these updates as they are not about local regional weather in NZ (we’re just too small for these big picture updates – so it’s more about the general highs and lows and how they will impact our part of the globe. But we will see if we can highlight NZ in any better ways next time.
Phil D

Related Articles